Neil Young in Austin, Texas on November 9, 1976
Neil Percival Young, OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician and film director. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1995 and also as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Young's work is characterized by deeply personal lyrics, distinctive guitar work, and signature tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments—including piano and harmonica, his clawhammer acoustic guitar style and often idiosyncratic electric guitar soloing are the linchpins of a sometimes ragged, sometimes polished sound. Although Young has experimented widely with differing music styles, including swing, jazz, rockabilly, blues, and electronic music throughout a varied career, his best known work usually falls into either of two distinct styles: acoustic folk/country ("Heart of Gold", "Harvest Moon" and "Old Man") and electric-charged hard rock (like "Cinnamon Girl", "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"). In recent years, Young has adopted elements from newer styles like industrial, alternative country and grunge. Young's profound influence on the latter caused some to dub him "the Godfather of Grunge".
Young has directed (or co-directed) a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY Déjà Vu (2008). He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled Linc/Volt. The project involves a 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology, which Young plans to drive to Washington, DC as an example to lawmakers there.
He is also an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid, and in 1986 helped found The Bridge School, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his wife Pegi (in this, Young's involvement stems at least partially from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy).
Harvest is the fourth solo album by Neil Young, released February of 1972 on Reprise Records, catalogue RS 6317. It featured the London Symphony Orchestra on two tracks, while noted guests David Crosby, Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, and James Taylor contributed vocals. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks, and spawned two hit singles, "Old Man", which peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Heart of Gold", which peaked at #1. It was the best-selling album of 1972. The record was a massive hit, producing a US number one single in "Heart of Gold", other songs returned to some usual Young themes: "Alabama" was "an unblushing rehash of 'Southern Man.
Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young and David Crosby
Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) are a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, also known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) when joined by occasional fourth member Neil Young. They are noted for their intricate vocal harmonies, often tumultuous interpersonal relationships, political activism, and lasting influence on music and culture. With Graham Nash's 2010 induction as a member of the Hollies, all four members of CSNY have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Initially formed by the trio of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, the genesis of the group lies in two 1960s rock bands, The Byrds and The Hollies, and the demise of a third, Buffalo Springfield.
Did you know?
- In May 2008; a biologist discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and named it after Neil Young. This was out of appreciation the biologist had for Young as an activist for peace and justice. The new spiders classification name is Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.
- Neil Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 for his solo work and again in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.
- Neil Young was voted 34th greatest artist of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine.
- Neil Young's father has a school named after him....Scott Young Public School.
- Neil Young refuses to allow his music to be used commercially – he wrote a song titled "This Note's for You" that expresses his views on the matter.